Australian Robbie McEwen (Team Katusha) suffered a serious knee injury in a crash two kilometres from the finish during stage two of the Tour of Belgium. The extent of the 36-year-old sprinter's injuries will likely force McEwen to miss the 2009 Tour de France.
Bart Leysen, Team Katusha directeur sportif, commented on the severity of the injury to McEwen's left knee.
"Robbie is now in the hospital. His knee joint is okay, but he cut ligaments under his left knee and the doctor's rebuilding it. It’s almost impossible for him to participate in the Tour de France and he fears for the rest of his career."
AFP has reported that McEwen suffered a fracture of his tibia in addition to the tendon and ligament damage.
According to Leysen, doctors have advised McEwen that a recovery may take one to four months.
McEwen was forced to miss the Giro d'Italia due to injuries sustained in a crash at last month's Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen. The Australian was using the Tour of Belgium and June's Tour de Suisse to prepare for the 2009 Tour de France.